Some years back, there was a point in my life when I didn’t give a second thought to the Saints. Fortunately, I had a life-changing experience that dispelled my incorrect notions about Saints and changed my whole paradigm in the way I view these holy servants.
Archimandrite Hilarion (Dan) is one of the most revered Romanian spiritual fathers of our days. In the world he was a man of high standing and had huge opportunities, but he renounced his earthly wealth for the sake of a life in Christ.
Our hero is a remarkable young man. He was born and grew up in Indonesia. This story is about his spiritual quest, a difficult Orthodox mission in a faraway tropical country, the miraculous meetings and adventures in Russia of an eighteen-year-old Indonesian, whose sincere faith amazes even experienced Orthodox.
I know, therefore, what the answer to the question “Daddy, do you love me more than God?”—a question with which many Christian parents are likely familiar—ought to be; though whether I, in my weakness, live accordingly is an entirely separate matter.
“Over the past three years I have baptized 500 people, and about seventy-five percent were Muslims. They sincerely love Christianity despite the attempts by nationalists to create a negative image of the Church.“
Now he was looking at the dome with a cross, glittering in the sun, and waiting for death to come. But it was slow in coming, though a tenfold heroin overdose should have caused a quick death. Meanwhile, death was still not going to take him, and he was gazing down at the golden cross on the church dome and couldn’t tear himself away from the view.
Natalia had no idea what the Jewish woman’s reaction would be, nor did she know what else she could offer to relieve Tabitha’s sufferings. With her simple heart and sincere faith, Natalia wanted to share the thing she held dearest with Tabitha and used the Gospel as the source of her personal spiritual consolation.
It is crystal clear that our society is infected with a shortage of love. I think that our contemporaries, choked up in the general atmosphere of enmity (because of the lack of love), above all expect love from the Church. That is why above all we should tell those on the outside that God is love.
But now you’ve heard of two whole Germans who came to Rus’ for the Holy Spirit, although it certainly bloweth were it listeth. And both of them took on the very difficult form of Christian asceticism—foolishness for Christ—and achieve sainthood in it. Yes, two! But wait, there is a third.